Survey finds 1.18 million adults have €50 left after bills paid

Financial position improving for many, credit union study finds

Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 08:43

The number of people with nothing left to spend at the end of the month once all essential bills have been paid has fallen sharply since last summer. Figures published by the Irish League of Credit Unions also suggest the level of disposal income is continuing to stabilise.

The figures indicate that the financial circumstances of many are improving, but nearly half of all adults are still struggling to pay their bills on time, with a growing number cutting back on food to make ends meet.

The credit unions’ latest “What’s Left” income tracking survey shows that 493,000 adults have nothing left at the end of the month once bills have been taken care of compared with 602,000 who said they were in the same financial position in June of last year.


Disposable income
The survey has also found that disposable income has increased to €172 this month from €163 in May for an average adult.

The increase in monthly disposable income for working adults has gone up from €188 in May to €205, a jump of 9 per cent.

Mortgage repayments, the cost of utilities and the amounts people are paying to clear credit card debt have all fallen, which accounts for much of the increase in disposable income.


Struggling
The figures are improving but 1.18 million adults say they have €50 or less left at the end of the month once all bills have been paid while 40 per cent say they are struggling to pay their bills on time and have to sacrifice spending in areas such as health and life insurance to cover everyday expenses.

“Once again we see further and continued signs of disposable income stabilisation into the second half of 2013,” said chief executive Kieron Brennan.

“There is a long way to go in terms of building confidence in the economy. It will be interesting to see where the Government has made cuts in the upcoming budget and how this will impact disposable income levels and indeed the finances of families around the country.”